Less than two hours after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was confirmed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) echoed the sentiment of many of his fellow Republicans: President Obama shouldn't get to nominate Scalia's successor during his last year in office.
Full statement from Senate Majority Leader McConnell on Scalia: pic.twitter.com/27VmyVMOy4— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) February 13, 2016
McConnell, who is the leader of the Republican-controlled Senate, doesn't outright say that if Obama nominates someone he and other Senate Republicans would refuse to confirm her. But that threat is strongly implied in "this vacancy should not be filled."
Senate Democrats, for their part — including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — are already saying it would be a "shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility" to do what McConnell suggests.
Would be unprecedented in recent history for SCOTUS to go year with vacancy. And shameful abdication of our constitutional responsibility.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) February 13, 2016